Linebacker Avery Williamson is drawing interest from the Jets and Dolphins after turning down a four-year, $12MM deal to return to the Titans, according to ESPN’s Dianna Russini (on Twitter). It was reported Sunday by ESPN’s Cameron Wolfe that there was mutual interest in Williamson returning to the Titans.
Williamson was clear, though, that he was only going to return to the Titans at the right price. Williamson also said that he was surprised by the Titans’ decision to fire head coach Mike Mularkey and hire Mike Vrabel but that wouldn’t be a deterrent in his decision to come back.
Williams, 26, who’s a Tennessee native, is one of the top 3-4 inside linebackers set to hit the open market this offseason. Wolfe pointed to inside linebackers like Kevin Minter and Zach Brown, who have had to settle for one-year deals over the past few offseasons, and players such as the Broncos’ Brandon Marshall (four-year, $32MM) and the Browns’ Christian Kirksey (four-year, $38MM) as inside linebackers who have cashed in on multi-year deals of late.
The Jets currently hold the most cap space of any team in the NFL at over $92MM, topping the Browns after their flurry of weekend moves. Jets inside linebackers Demario Davis, Bruce Carter and Julian Stanford are set to become unrestricted free agents. The Dolphins alleviated some cap issues Monday morning with the reported new that they’ll be cutting Ndamukong Suh. The team is also expected to part ways with linebacker Lawrence Timmons and Koa Misi is due to become a free agent this offseason.
The Titans made Williamson a fifth-round pick in 2014 and he’s started all 16 games in each of the last two seasons. He tallied a career-high 73 tackles in 2016 and racked up 52 tackles last season to go with three sacks.